After his loss to Alexander Zverev in the Rolex Shanghai Masters quarterfinals, Roger Federer went to Tokyo to play an exhibition match against John Isner. The Swiss star has since announced that he is planning to play the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Late in his career, the 38-year-old is limiting the number of tournaments he plays in order to prolong his professional career.
Although Federer could fall foul of the rules, having not played the Davis Cup since 2015, it is highly likely that he will receive a wildcard if he asks for one. Alternatively, the ITF can offer special exemptions from the rules for certain players. The Swiss remains one of the most popular sportsmen in the world and as a former-winner of the Davis Cup as well as a 20-time Grand Slam champion, it seems certain than an exception will be made for him.
That he chose to play is no surprise, with the Olympic singles gold one of the very few trophies Federer has yet to win in his career. The Swiss was the runner-up in London, getting blown out to Andy Murray in the final. He also finished in fourth place at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, losing a bronze medal match to Arnaud Di Pasquale. Federer does, however, own a gold medal from the Beijing Olympics having partnered with Stan Wawrinka to win the doubles crown, beating the Swedes Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson in the final.
The Swiss announced this after an exhibition win over John Isner in Tokyo today. Isner replaced injured Kei Nishikori. The Japanese took part in the event, umpiring a show match between Federer and Shinigo Kunieda and Isner and Gordon Reid. Kunieda and Reid are amongst the biggest stars of wheelchair tennis, with the charity match organized by the sports clothing brand, Uniqlo, who sponsor both Federer and Nishikori.
This exhibition was organized at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. It will also be the venue of the tennis competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The arena holds the Japan Open, an ATP 500 tournament won by Federer back in 2006 and most recently claimed by Novak Djokovic, who will also be ardently seeking the gold medal next year in Japan.
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